Message from the CEO: Bamfield Bus Crash – A Note of Thanks

The following has been sent to all Island Health staff, medical staff and volunteers on behalf of Kathy MacNeil, President & CEO

September 16, 2019

As many are aware, tragedy struck Vancouver Island on Friday night when a bus carrying University of Victoria students to Bamfield was involved in a rollover crash. My heart goes out to the families of the deceased and to all students and staff who were on the bus and their families. I can’t begin to imagine what it is like to get the phone call or knock on the door that is every parent’s worst nightmare. I know our entire Island Health family feels the same way during this painful time.

When these tragic events occur, I am heartened to know that our staff and medical staff respond with dedication and professionalism that exceeds all expectations, and this was no exception. From the moment local site leaders learned of the crash, staff, medical staff, local and provincial first responders and several communities sprang into action to provide care.

I want to recognize and thank all the nurses, physicians, mental health and substance use staff, support staff, medical imaging staff, FMO, cleaners, lab services, security, local leaders and clergy who came in to West Coast General to help the students triaged there.

Beyond Port Alberni, I also want to recognize and thank the staff at Victoria General Hospital, where the most seriously injured patients were airlifted, as well as staff at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Cowichan District Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital, who moved patients and ensured they were ready to assist if needed during the critical period before all details were available.

I am not surprised by the impressive response, given the passion that Island Health staff and medical staff show in caring for people every day. And I am proud – proud to lead such an amazing group of people who show up every day and exemplify our CARE values.

Thank you for everything you have done to support our patients and their families and to support each other during this tragic event. If you are feeling you need extra support, there are counselling and other resources available to you through our Employee and Family Assistance program.


Kathy MacNeil,
President and CEO

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